While there are many types of melons, most fruit lovers are less familiar with the Crenshaw melon. Or they might have interacted with it before but didn’t know what it was.
Crenshaw melon is a type of melon native to some parts of Africa and central Asia. They are believed to be one of the sweetest melons out there. They grow in warm and temperate regions, but you might also find them in the Mediterranean and the United States.
This fruit is a rich source of vitamins, especially vitamins A, B6, and C, and beta carotene, a carotenoid that gives its distinctive yellow-orange color.
Keep reading to learn more about this fruit, including its proven benefits.
What is a Crenshaw Melon?
Also known as the Cranshaw melon, the Crenshaw melon is a huge pear-shaped melon that resembles a cantaloupe. It has a very juicy, sweet flesh and a flavor similar to a casaba melon and a regular cantaloupe.
These melons are among the sweetest types in the market as they are a hybrid between Persian and Casaba melons. They have an additional vegetal aroma that’s suitable for fresh or light cooking, including soups, salads, and desserts. You can also use it for recipes that call for cantaloupe.
The rind and seeds are often discarded.
In size, they are medium to large, approximately 17-20cm in diameter, with an oblong to acorn shape and a flattened brad base.
They have a hard, waxy textured, thick skin that ranges in color from yellow with green streaks to golden yellow.
Underneath the skin is a soft, succulent, light orange-peach flesh with an encasing central cavity filled with stringy white fibers and light brown seeds.
Crenshaw Melon Nutrition Profile
Crenshaw melon incorporates a good amount of:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Dietary Fiber
- High water content
10 Health Benefits of Crenshaw Melon
1. A Rich Source of Antioxidants
Crenshaw melons are a rich source of antioxidants. These are substances that the body requires to combat illnesses resulting from oxidative stress. However, the body can only produce a limited amount of them; you have to take them from fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.
Luckily, Crenshaw melons contain a wide range of them, from beta-carotene, lutein, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin. These components inhibit free radicals in the body hence safeguarding you from diseases such as diabetes, asthma, cancer, and cognitive issues, among others.
2. Promotes Better Bone Health
Crenshaw melons contain a great amount of calcium and vitamin C. Calcium is a vital mineral that helps the body maintain strong bones.
On the other hand, Vitamin C ensures that the body absorbs the calcium, protecting you from bone-related problems such as osteoporosis.
This is a condition where bones become very brittle, fragile, and ultimately weak, leading to easy fractures.
By consuming Crenshaw melons, you boost your calcium and Vitamin C levels, thus avoiding the extremes caused by the deprivation.
3. Aids in the Digestion Process
Crenshaw melon contains high levels of water and fiber, which play an important role in promoting healthy digestion. The water softens the stool making it easy to pass and thus improving constipation.
On the other hand, fiber bulks the stool, which stimulates bowel movement and emptying.
Besides, this type of melon contains Pectin, a soluble fiber that holds water and changes to a gel-like substance as it passes through the intestines. This promotes regular bowel movement and protects from common digestion issues such as constipation, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.
4. Enhances Energy Levels
Crenshaw melon contains an ample amount of B vitamins. These vitamins play an important role in ensuring that the body breaks down glycogen into glucose, giving you energy.
This makes the fruit a perfect energy source before and after physical activity. Besides the B vitamins, the fruit also contains citrulline, an amino acid that enhances exercise performance and decreases muscle soreness.
While citrulline is available as a supplement, the best and most natural way to introduce it to the body is via taking Crenshaw melons. By taking the fruit, your body gains the energy required for physical activities and heals itself soon after.
4. Can boost your weight loss efforts
Crenshaw melons have over 80% water, so they are among the best fruits to take when trying to shed some weight.
They are also a low-calorie replacement for sugary treats and will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
As mentioned above, these fruits also contain citrulline, a very potent amino acid that can be metabolized to arginine. Arginine helps one burn fat quickly when exercising and ensures that your body is well repaired afterward.
For the best results in weight loss, consume an overall healthy diet, not just the melon, and of course, exercise. With a little effort, consistency, and commitment to the course, your body should begin taking shape within a few weeks.
5. Reduces the Chance of Strokes and Cardiovascular Diseases
Like most melons, Crenshaw melon also has the potential to prevent cardiovascular diseases and strokes. This is due to its high content of fiber, vitamins, citrulline, lycopene, and beta-carotene.
These diseases are often a result of unstable molecules (free radicals) causing damage to healthy cells.
With a good amount of carotenoid antioxidants, your body gains a better edge against oxidative stress, lowering your chances for these illnesses.
6. Prevent kidney stones
Kidneys are among the most important organs in the body. They are tasked with the role of eliminating wastes and extra fluids from the body.
They also promote a healthy balance of minerals, salts, and water in the blood.
However, they are not safe as they are still vulnerable to illnesses and issues such as kidney stones.
Crenshaw melons are a perfect and natural way to safeguard the kidneys and decrease the risk of kidney stones.
This is because the fruit contains citrulline, an amino acid that reduces renal oxidative stress, damage, and morphological deterioration. This promotes the optimal functioning of kidneys, hence promoting the consumer’s health at large.
7. Protects Your Cells from Cancers
The Crenshaw melon has a generous amount of lycopene, a very potent antioxidant that obstructs free radicals in the body. As stated above, free radicals make the body susceptible to cancer.
Lycopene is a carotenoid that prevents various types of cancer, including lung and prostate cancer. It stops cancer cell growth, prevents the damage of DNA, and improves enzymes that kill cancer-causing radicals.
8. Helps in Blood Pressure Management
High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, occurs when your blood moves through your arteries at a higher pressure than usual. The condition happens over time and can cause damage to your arteries by making them decrease their elasticity. This, in turn, reduces the flow of oxygen and blood to your heart, making you more susceptible to heart disease.
Crenshaw melon is rich in potassium, a vital mineral that promotes the dilation of the blood vessels. It works alongside citrulline to promote better blood vessel relaxation, lowering blood pressure. Citrulline helps the body produce nitric oxide, a gas that enhances the functionality of the vessels.
9. Prevents Dehydration
The fruit is largely made of water, making it a perfect treat for a hot day. Dehydration is a critical issue that’s often characterized by dizziness, headaches, tiredness, dry mouth, lips, and eyes.
In extremes, the condition can even cause death. Consuming Crenshaw melon and other highly succulent fruits prevents this from happening, especially during summer when you’re losing the most water from the body.
It is also a perfect treat for anyone who doesn’t like bland water.
How to Eat Crenshaw Melon
There are different ways to enjoy the Crenshaw melon. From eating it raw to juicing and grilling, each method brings out a unique taste that you’ll like. To determine what appeals most to you, try them all and see which one your taste buds connect with most.
- Salads: The Crenshaw melon is a perfect addition to any summer salad. Its flesh is sweet and juicy and complements other fresh fruits and greens. To make your salad, add your cubed melon to other ingredients, add a light salad dressing, and serve.
- Smoothies: Start by washing your Crenshaw melon, cutting it in half, and then removing the seeds. Proceed to cutting the melon flesh into small pieces and popping them into the blender. Add some vegan Greek Yoghurt r plant-based milk and blend until you achieve the consistency you desire. For an extra cooling effect, add some ice cubes.
- Eating Raw: This is the simplest way to enjoy your Crenshaw melon. Simply wash the melon, cut it in half, and remove the seeds. You can then slice the fruit and plate it. Eating it raw allows you to enjoy the natural taste and authentic texture of the fruit.
- Juices: When juicing a Crenshaw melon, you wash it and then remove the seeds and the rind. Cut it into small pieces and put it into a juicer. If you do not have a juicer, you can always use a blender and strain the juice on a fine mesh sieve. For an enhanced taste, add some mint leaves and ice cubes.
- Grilling: Have you ever grilled a fruit? While it is an unconventional way of consuming fruits, Crenshaw melons can also be grilled. Use soy sauce and BBQ sauce, coat the fruit, and toss it into the oven for a few minutes. However, some vitamins, such as Vitamin C, are sensitive to high temperatures. Their effectiveness is hugely reduced when exposed to heat.
How Does Crenshaw Melon Taste?
As mentioned earlier, Crenshaw melons are very sweet, like a ripened cantaloupe. They are also fragrant and will simulate most tropical fruits. It feels like you are eating a ripe cantaloupe with some cucumber notes. Other people describe the taste as a cross between a ripe cantaloupe and a casaba melon. Either way, you can be sure that it will excite your taste buds.
Potential Side Effects
There are no known side effects of eating Crenshaw melon.
Nevertheless, overconsumption of the fruit could lead to digestive problems such as diarrhea. This is because of the high content of FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols).
These are short-chain carbohydrates that the small intestines find difficult to absorb.
Additionally, the melon could lead to elevated blood sugar levels in those with diabetes if overconsumed.
Crenshaw Melon FAQs
How can I tell when a Crenshaw melon is ripe and ready?
Like most melons, Crenshaw melons will take some time to ripen after harvesting. But to determine whether it’s ripe or not, you’ll have to engage all your senses, from touch to smell.
When choosing your melon at the store, hold it in your arms to feel its weight. The heavier it is, the better for you.
When you squeeze the melon in your hands, it should feel firm but not as hard as a bowling ball. Upon giving the ripe melon a shake, you should hear the seeds rattling inside, and if you press the top (where the stem was), a ripe one should give you gentle pressure, not too soft or hard.
Visually, a ripe Crenshaw melon should also be yellow to orange. In addition, holding it near your nose should give a sweet and musky scent.
So there you have it; touch it, weigh it, press it, smell it, and see the melon to know whether or not it is ripe.
How do I store my Crenshaw melons?
The Crenshaw melons can be stored on the countertop if they are not fully ripened. They have a waxy rind that gives the uncut fruits a generous shelf life.
However, if you cut them, you must store them in the refrigerator. They will serve you for up to four days. If you want them to stay fresh and edible for longer, you can slice them, place them in a container, and store them in the freezer.
Can Crenshaw melon stain my clothes?
Crenshaw melons have peach-colored flesh. As such, it can stain your clothes and leave a mark if left for too long. If the juices drip to your clothes when cutting or eating, run some cold water through the stain, clean it, and hang it to dry.
How huge can Crenshaw melons get?
Crenshaw melons are large fruits. When ripe, they can weigh up to 10 pounds.
What are the side effects of Crenshaw melons?
Crenshaw melon has no known side effects as it is a natural fruit. However, you may develop digestive issues if you eat an unripe or damaged Crenshaw melon.
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The Crenshaw melon is a hybrid cantaloupe of the casaba melon and the Persian melon.
It has a very sweet and musty flavor that you will love.
The fruit is a host of lots of nutrients and minerals and hence very healthy.
You can use it for smoothies, desserts, and juices, depending on your preferences.
Try it today and let me know how you love it!
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